The Blades Aerobatic Team have agreed to display at the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta on Thursday, 30th August, 2012, at 6 p.m. And it will be a welcome home-coming for Dartmouth's former Red Arrows pilot Mark Cutmore.
The Regatta committee have committed to the Blades performance but still require a sponsor for the display.
2012 will be The Blades' seventh display season and they are gearing up for it to be a great one. The Blades are among the world’s best aerobatic pilots, flying the ultimate in high-performance piston aircraft. Over the past six years, The Blades have flown over 300 displays in front of more than 18 million people, carried over 1,000 corporate flying event passengers and reached hundreds of millions of people through the media.
The Blades also create unique corporate flying events, combining unforgettable experiences, fantastic corporate flying event facilities and exceptional customer care. The Blades can help you to fly your business to the next level.
“When our guests who, by their own admission are some of the most ‘corporately entertained’ individuals in our industry say it’s the best corporate event they have ever attended, it is testament to how well the day was organised by your team.” James Harrison - Burbage Realty
"The most exciting thing I've ever done in my life." Yasmina Siadatan, winner of The Apprentice 2009.
The Blades' parent company, 2Excel Aviation Ltd, was founded in 2005 by Chris Norton OBE DFC and Andy Offer OBE. They both left distinguished careers in the Royal Air Force as Wing Commanders to create a unique, aviation-based communications business.
Gathering together a group of individuals (each an acknowledged expert in their field), they created the UK's only full-time civilian formation display team and the world's only globally-accredited aerobatic airline. 2Excel provides the corporate sector with a unique suite of high-impact communications tools: unforgettable corporate flying events, exceptional air displays and a truly through-the-line flying bill-board.
A full programme of air displays and corporate events began immediately with the Beckhams' Full Length and Fabulous Ball and since then, our displays have been watched by more than 18 million people at over 150 venues across UK, Europe and the Middle East. Display highlights have included the Cannes International Advertising Festival, Her Majesty The Queen’s 80th Birthday Celebrations at Balmoral, the opening of the Bahrain Financial Harbour and the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The Blades have also created bespoke corporate events for many of the UK's leading companies, flying over 1,000 passengers in close formation aerobatic flights.
Including the six full-time display pilots, there are eight ex-RAF, fully-qualified commercial pilots who fly passengers during The Blades' corporate flying events.
The nine Blades’ pilots have two OBEs, a Distinguished Flying Cross and a ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ between them. With over 20,000 hours of military flying between them, their heritage is outstanding. Two of them commanded RAF Harrier Squadrons in the most exacting of circumstances (in Iraq and Afghanistan) and one of them led the Red Arrows. Six of the Blades were Harrier pilots, two were Jaguar pilots, all were RAF instructors and Blades 1 to 4 are all former Red Arrow pilots.
Blade 4 Mark 'Cutty' Cutmore
Mark ‘Cutty’ Cutmore was educated at Dartmouth School and Community College. Before deciding to pursue a career in the Royal Air Force, Cutty spent time working in his father’s butcher’s shop and a car garage as an apprentice.
After graduating from the Royal Air Force’s Initial Officer Training, Cutty originally trained as an Air Traffic Controller before applying to become a pilot. After completing flying training, Cutty was selected to fly the Jaguar aircraft. Based in Scotland, Cutty trained as an Electronic Warfare Instructor, seeing active service over ex-Yugoslavia. During his time as a Jaguar pilot, Cutty became a Qualified Weapons Instructor and helped to train new Jaguar pilots. He also represented the Royal Air Force as the Jaguar Display pilot.
Cutty joined the Red Arrows in 1999, flying as Reds 3, 5 and 9. In his final year he was appointed Squadron Executive Officer, second in command to Red 1, who coincidentally is now his current boss, Blades co-founder Andy Offer. After leaving the Red Arrows, Cutty undertook a staff appointment at the RAF’s Air Command, with responsibility for Jaguar Force training, before returning to the front line as a Flight Commander.
Cutty’s last role in the Royal Air Force was as Special Advisor to the Royal Saudi Air Force Aerobatic Team; The Saudi Hawks. As a position only open to ex Red Arrows pilots, he took over in Saudi Arabia from his current Blades team-mate, Andy Evans.
Cutty concluded his service with the Royal Air Force on his return to the UK and joined The Blades only a week later. Cutty flies at the back of the formation as Blade 4 and spends the winter perfecting the extreme manoeuvres expected of the team’s solo display pilot.
Cutty lives in Stamford with his wife Emma, their two daughters and a menagerie of animals including guinea pigs, chickens and a dog. During his spare time, Cutty enjoys running, horse racing and occasionally a spot of DIY.